Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Partying with eLeMeNO-Pee!

You may know your local eLeMeNO-Pee representative as someone who provides one-on-one cloth diaper education and support. Maybe she was invited to speak to your childbirth class, maybe you were connected to her through your doula or pediatrician, or maybe you just ran into her on Facebook.

But did you know that she can party like a cloth diaper rock star?

You can read about the basic structure of an eLeMeNO-Pee home party here, but I thought it might be fun to show you a recent party that I was able to attend and document!

(Please excuse the cell phone photography. Ahem.)

We started just after 4 pm after munching on chips and salsa, fresh pineapple, and bakery cookies. Our hostess had arranged for extra seating in the living room for her 13 guests, who were all pregnant mothers, mothers of young babies, and mothers of these mothers! (However, many of our parties also include daddies--it's a lot easier for the couple to make the leap into cloth diapering when they receive the education at the same time.)

Jenny H., the consultant for the party, kept a small stash of demo diapers nearby as she introduced and explained each system and style of modern cloth diaper. She began by explaining that everyone knows why cloth diapering is a smart choice, but what's so overwhelming is the how. Guests agreed and sat forward in their seats, waiting for their questions to be answered!

Goodies galore sat waiting on the dining room table for curious hands; meanwhile, guests chuckled their way through Jenny's "Reader's Digest" version of the journey cloth diapers have taken from old-fashioned flats, pins, and pull-on plastic pants to the many inventive, convenient, and fashionable styles available today.
Jenny demonstrated laundry for the group, loading a FuzziBunz hanging diaper pail and unzipping it into an imaginary washing machine to demonstrate the mess-free method for transferring dirties from pail to washer.
A cloth-curious guest got her hands on a modern cloth diaper for the first time while her mother looked on, curious and then amazed. Having some of your support system at a showing with you is a wonderful way to get your team on-board.

After the brief demonstration, everyone headed to the 'showroom' to get a second look at the styles and accessories that interested them the most. This is when mamas really get a feel for the 2-3 styles they want to try. Jenny had her Kindle Fire available for any guest to browse our Web site and check out all the available color, print, and laundry scent options!
Jenny and a guest discussed newborn diapering in further detail; some mamas were interested in cloth from Day One, while others thought they might wait until one-size diapers fit to get started. Jenny's job is to validate that both of those paths are great options--cloth diapering is a lifestyle choice, but it's one that can be seamlessly integrated into family life!

As Q&A wrapped up, guests sampled the delicious scents of our Hosie Naturals product line, which features organic, plant-based mom-and-baby skincare ranging from cloth diaper-safe "Butt Balm" and wipe solution concentrate to a labor-augmenting body oil and a stretchmark-reducing belly butter, while Jenny was available in the next room for guests who wished to purchase products or receive a complementary eLeMeNO-Pee registry consultation.

Looks like fun, doesn't it? It is, and hosting an eLeMeNO-Pee party comes with lots of rewards that graduate based on the party sales total. In fact, our Home Office is currently developing a quarterly 'specials and hostess incentives' schedule that will make hosting a party even more rewarding!

Here are some tips for hosting a successful eLeMeNO-Pee cloth diaper party:

1) Invite dads, and encourage them to come by letting them know that your partner will be present. Your guests will be more likely to invest in a starter stash if they are able to talk over the financial benefits with their husbands.

2) Invite from lots of circles. Chances are you know expectant and brand-new parents who don't know each other. eLeMeNO-Pee parties are a great way to introduce potential new friends and to get questions answered that you might not have thought to ask.

3) Have some munchies available, but don't stress about the snacks. Everyone will be focusing on the products, anyway, and you'll find you have leftovers no matter how little you think you're preparing. Go for ease for yourself and pregnancy-friendly for your guests.

4) Be ready to start your stash. Look over the current hostess incentives. Have a sales goal in mind and invite other friends and acquaintances who are motivated to jump in! Party attendance carries no commitment, so it doesn't hurt to have guests who are early in pregnancy and just wanting to get a feel for cloth, but your party total will be higher (and you'll receive more rewards!) if your guests are the adventurous types who are ready to order 'a starter stash.'

Ready to host a party? All it takes is contacting your local eLeMeNO-Pee consultant or setting up a virtual party with the Home Office. Simply book, invite, learn, and earn your rewards!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The What Nobody Tells You Files: Baby names edition

They bring joyous smiles; they bring agonizing indecision. They bring about intense conversations; they enlighten us more to our partners' aesthetic sensibilities than anything else: more than planning the wedding, more than decorating the first home, more than choosing the tunes for a road trip, more than anything. They prompt us to spend hours at work making long lists under our desks. They are probably the best non-medical reason that ultrasound technology has become the industry that it has become.

What am I talking about?

Baby names, of course.

It's ok to admit you bought a copy.
You know, many of our readers are first-time expectant parents, and you've probably all heard of the What to Expect series. I want to let you in on a little secret, though: as with all things pregnancy, birth, and baby, there's a little category of information regarding baby names that I like to call What Nobody Tells You.

If you've already been talking baby names, you're probably in list-maker mode anyway--so let's go with a list! Here are five common truths about naming your baby that nobody's going to tell you.

1) Understand the Principle of Inverse Proportion. Yes, just like in math class. There's an inversely proportional relationship between the emotional closeness that a person purports to hold with you and the rudeness with which he or she expresses an opinion about your choice of name for your soon-to-be-born offspring. Be prepared to hear everything from, "Well, that's a new one!" to the slightly skeptical, "And you're going to spell it with the 'e'?" to the flat-out incredulous, "You're gonna name him... that?" Best of all, be prepared to hear those things from your closest friends and family members... and from the extended family members you haven't seen since your cheeks were pinch-worthy, but who are suddenly calling to check up on you because they heard you were havin' a little boy and just wanted to know what you were thinking of naaaaming him, darlin'! You know, for the monogramming. Then be prepared to be handed a list of clearly more suitable alternatives, "In case you change your mind."

Know a handful of John Paul's? So do I!
2) There will be name repeats in your circle. This is something I was turning over in my head recently. I tend to run in a circle of young Catholic families who are growing every year or two. Young Catholic families who are devoted to the same saints who wrote the same books and spoke the same quotations that we all enjoy passing around to each other on our preferred social sharing networks... and, you know, the very same saints that we all want to name our children after! I'm sure the same could be said of any other social circle where the the families involved are likeminded in terms of faith, or intellect, or aesthetic sensibility. At a given diocesan function, I could potentially run into: one friend whose son's name is, first and middle, exactly the same as my son's, two friends whose daughters share the same first and middle names, two friends whose sons are named in honor of the late Pope John Paul II, one friend whose son's middle name is our without-a-doubt pick for our next son's first name, and one friend whose son's middle name is our without-a-doubt pick for our next son's middle name. Substitute "saint" for "punk rock icon" or "Old Testament figure" or "Civil Rights leader" and you can see how this might translate to your circle. So, go ahead: agonize over that perfect name (because you will), and, by all means, take into account the popularity of your favorites, but don't stress too much. It's bound to happen. You have excellent taste, after all.

Maybe his taste is just "beyond."
3) Your husband's taste really is that out-of-touch... and sometimes that is cutting-edge after all. I'll never forget my husband campaigning to name our first baby Janice.  I'll never forget my relief when that ultrasound revealed that Janice would not, after all, remain a candidate for his name. But, you know what? I bet that Janice sees a comeback in the near future. I'm seeing other names that I've previously stereotyped as "office lady" names--Wanda, Maxine, Betty, Marian--popping up in certain pockets of the US. So if your husband suggests something that isn't even on your radar, it's a good idea to try to consider it. And when you're asking your family members what they think, remember the Principle of Inverse Proportion.

4) Even John, Mary, Aiden, and Madison will have to spell their names for somebody someday. It's a noble goal, this, "We really want a name that nobody will have trouble spelling or pronouncing, because this will be our child's name for the rest of her life!" I get it! That's a great reason to skip over Chrysanthemum or Aeschylus. But take it from a plain old Laura (everybody knows how to spell Laura, right? Wrong): your child will have his or her name misspelled, mispronounced, or misunderstood by some receptionist or telemarketer somewhere. Don't limit your options--or eliminate some of your favorite contenders--because you're afraid that the general public won't know what to do with the silent 's' in Isla or with the vowels in Seamus. If you love it, use it, and let the world learn something new about phonetics!

5) Your child may go through a period where he dislikes his name. I remember asking my mom what all the names she considered for me were--and every single one of them sounded more glamorous and lovely to my eight-year old ears than the name I had to write at the top of every paper that crossed my desk at school. I wanted to be Elizabeth, Rhiannon, Mary Margaret... anything but Laura Lynn. I think I hurt her feelings, even though what I was trying to do was compliment her taste. My three-year old sometimes tells me he doesn't want his name to be Dominic any more, because he wants it to be Power Ranger. Can you imagine? 

You know you watched it when you were pregnant.
If you're remembering all of the emotional and mental investment that went into choosing the perfect name for your new bundle--the love and care, the hours and the lists, enduring the spousal negotiations and the raised eyebrows from your loved ones as you whittled down your lists so that you could impart the one thing that would endure once the nursery walls were painted over and the cloth diaper stash was sold off, once the gown was donned and the cap was tossed and the small baby who was growing inside of you and kicking you in the ribs during M'Lynn's speech at the end of Steel Magnolias is suddenly a tall, bearded man driving away in a luggage-loaded two-door, headed for wherever his dreams and his limited savings account may take him--if you're remembering all that (and you're a mom, so you probably are), it will sting when, at some point along the way, your child expresses a desire to change his name. Don't worry.

You can call your child Power Ranger or Pinkie Pie for a while. No matter what you call that baby, she will always call you "Mama." That's the reward you get for all the hard work you'll do. Choosing the perfect name is only the first assignment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Newborns in Cloth series, pt. 3: Putting your perfect stash together!

Last week, we interrupted the Newborns in Cloth series for a little World Breastfeeding Week break (and, boy, are we glad we did! The overwhelmingly enthusiastic response has left us feeling so very grateful to be part of such a positive, supportive community of readers!), but this week, it's time to cough up the real goods: the promised series culmination, the "newborn stash layout" post.

Per Part One, the idea behind a newborn stash is to have enough diapers to actually fit your tiny newborn that will also (1) allow you to wash diapers only once a day, (2) be easy on you and whomever else might offer to change a diaper while you're adjusting to life with your new bundle, and (3) save you money over what you'd have spent on disposable diapering your newborn.

So let's lay out the perfect newborn stash checklist!

(First: I recommend having 26 diaper changes. I know that sounds excessive, but hear me out: I tallied up my newborn daughter's diaper changes during her first couple weeks of life, and one day she got up to 22 changes in 24 hours. Those four extra changes were all I had left while the 22 she had dirtied were washing and drying! 26 was the perfect number to have on-hand.)

8 FuzziBunz OS Elites or SoftBums Omnis (or four of each if you're a sampler).

James models a SoftBums Omni.
These aren't just part of your newborn stash--they will remain in your baby's cloth diaper stash for years to come. In the case of SoftBums, your little one will surely wear them until potty-training--the shell can "grow" that big! But they both truly, truly size down small enough for a newborn to wear with no leaks--and they are decently trim, at that!

Brand new Zeke in a FBOS.

When you purchase SoftBums shells, you will also need to purchase the newborn-sized "mini-pods" to use as the absorbent core inside them, and you can choose to stuff the pocket or purchase eight pods and four shells. The FuzziBunz Elite comes standard with two minky inserts, and one of those is newborn-sized.

12 cotton prefolds and your choice of 5 covers.

Prefolds: Tried. True. Inexpensive. Classic.
Can you say, "Inexpensive, tried and true?" This will make up the bulk of the stash of diapers you use at home and will really stretch your budget and ensure you have enough diaper changes for a newborn. Don't let the 'fold' part of the world prefold intimidate you--I covered how simple they are to use in Part Two. Many moms who are initially turned off by the plainness of prefolds end up listing them among their favorite diapering systems.

So, covers? I cannot recommend the Thirsties Duo Wrap enough. It's tiny when it's snapped all the way down, and a trim fit is guaranteed. If you decide you like prefolds enough to continue using them after the newborn stage, these covers will last you until your baby is 18 lbs. and, unlike if you're using the admittedly adorable Thirsties XS cover, you don't have to worry about your baby outgrowing it before she fits into her 'main stash' of cloth diapers. 

Typically, you'll need one cover for every three diaper changes, unless you get an explosive poop and can't reuse a cover that 'should' still be in rotation--that's why I always recommend that fifth back-up cover. (Go ahead, pick the print! You know you want to.)

2 Tots Bots Tini Fit All-in-Ones.

This is your 'church nursery' or your 'Hallelujah! Someone else wants to take this round!' diaper. With the strongest hook-and-loop material you've ever seen, a beautiful color palette to choose from, and a luxuriously soft minky inner, you can be assured that not only will your stand-in believe that cloth is easy--she'll also believe that cloth is wonderful.

So why only two? At nearly $19/pop, this one doesn't take you far on your long-term savings journey because it is so small and will only fit for so long. While I believe that the materials that make up this diaper are well worth the price-point, my ultimate goal is to build a stash that costs less money than using disposable diapers during the tiny stage would.

 4 FuzziBunz XS pocket diapers.

This is your 'diaper bag' diaper. At only $13.95 per diaper, this is an excellently priced, excellently rated pocket that gives you all the ease of disposable diapers. The fit is smooth and incredibly trim, so your baby's adorable outfits--the ones you know you save for errands--will fit just like they should. And the stay-dry inner layer means that if changing 'IUW' ('immediately upon wetting') is not a logistical possibility, your baby's skin will still feel dry.

So what is a 'dream stash'?

A 'dream newborn stash' combines all the best things about today's cloth diapers and applies them to the newborn stage: (1) money-savings over disposables, (2) cuteness and a trim fit under clothes when necessary, and (3) equal ease-of-use to disposables when convenience takes precedence.
What MY 'dream newborn stash' budget looks like all laid out:

The goodmama diapers blog estimates in this hilariously accurate breakdown that it costs $336.84 to disposable diaper a baby for the first eight weeks. So with the above 'dream newborn stash,' you've definitely saved your money--especially because you won't be buying disposable wipes, either, since you've already prepared your 'main stash' with cloth wipes. And I'd estimate that most of these, even the ones designed to fit newborns, will fit most babies until they're closer to 10 weeks old.

There are, of course, ways to cut the cost further, like replacing those last six convenience diapers with more prefolds and a cover, replacing my beloved Tini Fits with two more FuzziBunz XS, or just having a bigger 'overlap stash,' dealing with that little bit of bulk, and supplementing those with prefolds and covers to get your full 26 changes in. 

Now some of you may ask, "If prefolds are so easy, why bother with the more expensive diapers at all?" The answer is that I want my 'dream stash' to include some diapers that my friends and family members could have no problems changing--some that could go into the wet bag wholesale as they come off, without my having to explain, "Oh, no, I wanted to reuse that cover later!"

Others of you may ask, "Why not just have a whole stash of one-size diapers that get really tiny? Why not just 26 of those?" And the answer is: why not! If that's what you want, then definitely do it. But: many moms find that they don't need any more than 15-18 diapers once their babies are older and void their bladders less frequently. In order to stretch your dollar even further, we always outline the 'buy only as much as you'll need of the fancy diapers, then supplement with prefolds for the newborn stage' plan.

Does this look a plan you could hang with? Let us know in the comments how you did the newborn-in-cloth thing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This is what it's like to breastfeed in a changing Southwest Louisiana in 2012.

The tide is turning toward breastfeeding in Louisiana.

This has been in the works on the national scene for a while. There are government-funded “Breast is Best” campaigns throughout the US and “Breastfeeding welcomed” signs on storefront windows in major cities. The news media regularly covers women’s legal right to nurse anywhere, at any time in 43 states. We’re all aware of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial Latch On campaign, his take on the World Health Organization’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
National and local governments have taken an interest in breastfeeding as a means of disease-prevention (because, I suspect, spending public advertising dollars encouraging women to breastfeed is easier and less controversial than tackling the public health crises caused by the food industry). There’s a now-twenty-years-old World Breastfeeding Week celebration (that’s Aug. 1 – 7), and August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.

And it should be mentioned that increasing numbers of mothers are plugged into Internet communities and in-person, locally organized social groups who gather to discuss topics related to mothering. Breastfeeding, like modern cloth diapers, sleep schedules, babywearing, and homemade purees vs. jarred food vs. babyled weaning, is bound to come up.

So I have to tell you, I don’t breastfeed because it will make my baby smarter, or healthier, or closer to me than she would be if she were fed with an alternative milk and nipple. Study after study, campaign after campaign tries to tell me this, but I have a hard time processing the comparisons. I’m really not convinced that those are the most appropriate reasons upon which to found a campaign for breastfeeding—or that the dominant media conversation should be one that centers on breastfeeding versus bottle-feeding. I don’t breastfeed because it’s ‘best’ or ‘better than’ formula-feeding… or because of anything related to formula (which is, despite some of the discourse you’ll find bandied about in ‘crunchy mom’ subcultures, real food that a baby can survive and thrive on, whether it is given as a maternal preference or out of circumstantial necessity) at all.

I breastfeed because it’s normal.
I mean it. And there’s a certain amount of privilege and luck behind that statement, I’ll admit it. I was set up for success by forces beyond my own control. I have had access to this idea that humans are mammals, and mammals nurse their young, for as long as I can remember: I was breastfed in the mid-‘80s by my working mother. My husband was breastfed by his mother, a homemaker who had seven children between 1976 and 1987 and wasn’t socially acquainted with anybody else in Lake Charles, La., who nursed. I watched my cousins being breastfed as I was growing up; I watched my sister-in-law struggle some through her nonetheless eventually successful first breastfeeding experience during my first pregnancy. I watched my sister pump milk for her premature triplets (well, okay, I didn’t watch, but I knew she was doing it). I was a part of those kinds of online women’s communities before I was ever pregnant. I had natural births, one of them at home, which is proven to make the nursing relationship easier to establish. And I stayed home with my first baby; I brought my second to both of my part-time jobs with me until she turned one.
I can’t imagine knowing how to be a mother without making milk (although I know that many, many good mothers throughout history have accomplished just that). For the first year of my babies’ lives, nursing hasn’t been about feeding at all, really. The transmission of calories was secondary. It was just what my babies did… often. It was my mothering paradigm, my primary means of mothering, what I spent most of my days doing: it was how my babies went to sleep, how they got their nutrition, how they got the antibodies to build strong immune systems, how they were reassured when the garish lights and unfamiliar sounds (or, later, the absolutely fascinating, MOMDIDYOUSEETHAT???! scenes) of, well, anywhere that wasn’t our home sent their tiny brains into overdrive. It’s how they overcame boredom when our priest’s homily ran over seven minutes. It’s how I distracted them from the pain of shots. It’s how they went about their everyday lives as infants.

There’s a great deal of evidence that suggests that human infants instinctively exhibit attachment-promoting behaviors to ensure their own survival. Very young babies cry to nurse every thirty minutes, not because they are hungry, not because they’re not getting ‘enough,’ and not because mom’s milk is ‘too thin,’ but because they don’t know that a tiger isn’t about to eat them. When a mother is casually nursing her baby while she stands at the stove and stirs her gumbo or sits at her oak desk writing depositions, she is still, despite her nonchalance, holding him closely in fierce protection, giving him sustenance that comes from her own body—and he gets that. He gets what that means. Maybe not on the poetic level that we do, but instinctively he knows that this is right. He is a mammal baby, and this is what mammals do under biologically normal circumstances. (It’s also the mechanism by which adequate milk supply is ensured. Supply management is not much of an issue, barring certain very real but also statistically rare medical conditions on mother or baby’s parts, when the pair is lucky enough to be able to share an ‘unrestricted access to the breast’ kind of daily routine.)

The ‘breast vs. bottle’ conversation in the media and even in medical circles so often becomes about feeding, but the fact is that breastfeeding is not purely a feeding choice. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s choosing to be attached to a baby continuously or to make other arrangements that will not compromise the milk supply. It’s choosing to possibly even allow a child to remain, both literally and metaphorically, ‘attached’ for longer than we as a culture tend to think babyhood should last, for the sake of respecting the instinctive, paleological parameters of human child development rather than the culturally imposed ones--or it can be choosing some nuanced combination thereof.

It’s choosing to adopt a mothering paradigm that hasn’t been a popular one in our culture until recently, and women sense that. It’s okay for them to reject it; people have dignity and the agency to carve their own paths. But it’s also okay for them to embrace it.

I feel less and less alone as a breastfeeding mother in Southwest Louisiana. I am witnessing more and more local success stories—more and more women who attempt to establish breastfeeding are succeeding, are nursing exclusively to 6 months and then continuing nursing with complementary solid foods until 12 months and beyond. Many are pumping at work (rock stars!) and managing their milk supply with great care, learning the science of lactation and its delicate interplay with the endocrine system so intimately that they can pinpoint where they are in their fertility cycles by how many ounces of milk they are pumping on a given day.

The tide is turning because the support is there.  Informationthe right informationis more accessible than it was even when my first child was born in early 2009. The La Leche League International chapter meetings in Lake Charles are teeming with new faces—and friendships—every month. Moms of twins, moms of preemies, moms who have more than one child but have never breastfed before, moms who work, moms who are inducing lactation for an adopted baby, moms who are in the military, moms who are women of color, these are the moms who are joining us for our monthly meetings now who weren’t joining us three years ago.

I don’t think the tide is turning because of the studies. I don’t think it’s because the medical establishment is supportive—because International Board Certified Lactation Consultants and other breastfeeding-minded medical practitioners in the United States have to fight daily against a system wherein breastfeeding is not normalized, where pregnant women are booby-trapped by their OB/Gyn practices with bags of 'free' baby product samples sponsored by formula companies before they schedule their first ultrasound.

The tide is turning because women are insisting that their biologically normal practice be recognized as a socially normal choice, and they’re having such a good time doing it that their friends are joining them.

Friends. That’s how we solve a public health crisis. Woman to woman, the way it’s always been done. And year by year, we’ll make it normal. Year by year, we’ll turn the tide.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Newborns in Cloth series, pt. 2: How do you fold those things, anyway?

So you're interested in cloth diapering your newborn--or at least in considering the possibility and exploring the benefits... and the logistics. Last week we discussed ways to cloth diaper your too-small-for-their-main-stash newborn in a cost-effective way. This week we'll tackle the (not really all that) hairy how-tos!
 1. Cloth diapering in the hospital: should I? How do I do it?
Cloth in the hospital? Why not?!

If you've invested in a separate stash of newborn-sized cloth diapers, you probably want to get as much use out of it as you can, and where better to test the waters of newborn cloth diapering than in the hospital, where... you just don't have much else to do? Besides, cloth diapers are a much more accurate way to measure 'output' and make sure your baby is having no trouble with feeding and digesting!

If you want to use your cloth in the hospital, include it in your birth and baby care plan. "We are a cloth diapering family! We don't expect the staff to worry about learning to use our diapers; we are happy to handle every diaper change." Make sure your husband is familiar with the system you will be using, and put him in charge of changes if possible--your only jobs are to rest and to feed your baby.

Bring your hanging pail for dirties and your cloth wipes and wipe solution if you want to use cloth wipes. Have your husband go home with dirties to wash them if your stay is extended. Having a diaper sprayer installed at home is helpful for the meconium phase, but if you're breastfeeding, once your transitional milk comes in, no spraying is necessary--breastmilk poop truly is water-soluble.

2. Prefolds: How do they work?

The 'fold' part of the word prefold can be a little intimidating. I thought the point of this modern cloth thing was that I didn't have to do this folding-and-fastening thing? Fret not! Fear not!

Because of the ease of wrap-style covers, folding a prefold is a matter of folding in thirds. For longer babies, fold 'the long way,' along the seams:

Folding 'the long way' is great for taller babies. It can also get you more use out of your prefolds as your baby grows.
For shorter or smaller babies, fold 'the wrong way,' or against the seams:

Fan out in the back for best poop-catching results.

Lay folded prefold inside a cover; change when wet! Covers that don't get poop on them can be reused throughout the day.

3. We choose to circumcise. Can we use cloth while it's healing?

You sure can! Your doctor will probably recommend you treat the surgery site with a combination of Vaseline and Bacitracin and wrap with gauze. The problem? Gauze doesn't exactly contain all those oozey meds, and you don't want anything greasy, thick, or petroleum-based on your fabric, because it isn't water-soluble, and that stuff will spread around inside of and coat your washing machine, leading you straight to Repelling City.

So what to do? I can't take credit for this brilliant idea; it comes from the Padded Tush Stats blog and was sent to me by one of our savvy clients. Put a dollop of those meds on a disposable cotton makeup round! The package of them will cost less than disposable diapers, and you'll only need them for a week or two. Your cloth will be protected, your little guy will heal beautifully, and any diaper-changer volunteer can easily follow these instructions!

4. Changing cloth diapers while out and about is so intimidating to me.

Being away from your changing table can be intimidating, no matter what kind of diapers you're using, especially if you're caring for a circumcision or cord, dealing with skin sensitivity, or worrying about getting sprayed mid-change!

The easiest way to eliminate confusion and keep things quick is to either pre-load your prefolds into covers, mimicking a one-piece system, or to use pockets or AIOs when you're out. As seldom as you're likely to be running the roads with a newborn, you should only need a handful of these pricier 'easy diapers' to get you through your errands!

An organized (and organizable!) diaper bag makes it easy to reach everything you need: changing pad, diapers, cloth wipes, wipe solution (a pre-mixed spray bottle is easiest on-the-go!), Butt Balm (if necessary), and a wet bag for storing the dirty!

As for that mid-change 'baptism' that boys like to pull out of their little bags of newborn tricks, I have a counter-attack in my arsenal that works no matter what kind of diaper you're using. Before you unfasten the wet diaper, wipe your baby's inner thighs, right at the crease, with a pre-wet wipe (or spray your wipe solution, mixed with cooling witch hazel, in the same spot). The surprising, cool wetness encourages the baby to completely void his bladder if there's anything left to spray. Wait a few seconds before changing. This also gives you the opportunity to learn what your baby's "potty face" looks like in case you are interested in practicing elimination communication. (I'm not, but many parents love it!)

5. What about the cord stump?

Keeping the cord stump clean and dry is the best way to promote it falling off in its own time. In order to keep from agitating the wound, simply situate your baby's diaper so that it doesn't touch it.

No need for special cloth diapers with notches for the cord stump! Newborn cloth diapers are cut short enough in the rise to accommodate the cord stump. Both the Thirsties XS Cover and the Thirsties Duo Wrap in Size One are cut perfectly for this purpose.

Well, voila! There you have answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cloth diapering a newborn. If you've got more questions, please ask them on our Facebook Page! I'll turn them over to our expert consultants AND our expert clients to get feedback for you!